The Nordic Exis-Conference

Honne Conference Hotel, Biri > 21 – 23 October 2024

Existential approaches to Health, Culture, Religion/Spirituality, and Ecology

What does it mean to be human in a time of crises?

The purpose of the conference is to be a Nordic interdisciplinary meeting place for existentially oriented research on health, culture, religion, spirituality, ecology and other related fields. Existential approaches are on the agenda and vital within a number of disciplines and practices. The idea behind this conference is that we can meet, tell each other about our research, learn from each other, and together contribute to further research and knowledge development in our related fields.

The conferences builds on the psychology of religion conferences, which have been arranged annually since 2007. This year, the conference asks what it means to be human in a time of crises. This relates to the global situation of war and ecological threats, as well as to individual human crises associated with illness or other forms of suffering. However, all themes within the broad spectrum of existential approaches are welcome for presentations at the conference.

We are pleased to announce that professor Pehr Granqvist at Stockholm University will have the opening lecture on “Attachment, spiritual experiences, and psychedelic science”. For more information: Pehr Granqvist – Stockholm University (

Pehr Granqvist

Professor and psychiatrist Neil Krishan Aggarwal from New York State Psychiatric Institute and Columbia University Medical Centre talks about “The importance of cultural and existential information for diagnostics and treatment planning”. For more information: Neil Krishnan Aggarwal | South Asia Institute (

Niel Krishan Aggarwal
Neil Krishnan Aggarwal

Professor in systematic theology Jan-Olav Henriksen will give a lecture about “Religion, solidarity, and response-ability in times of crisis”. The climate crisis calls for long-term responses and global solidarity. How can religion contribute to this, and what aspects of a theological understanding of what it means to be human need to be addressed and brought to light to secure a response that will not lead to “burn-out activism”. This lecture will address possible conditions for a solidarity that includes every living being on the planet, and argue that experiences that are mediated by sensual, emotional, and cognitive engagement with nature are of crucial importance to make this happen. Thereby, it is also possible to counter emotions of fear and helplessness and the temptation to defer the necessary means for facing the crisis. Jan-Olav Henriksen | MF School of Theology (

Jan-Olav Henriksen


Invitation in PDF

Paper, panel, posters
There will be 20-minute presentations of papers, and it is possible to propose panels for 1 hour or more. Submit an abstract (300 words) to, or on this conference page (available soon).
The deadline for abstracts is 29 May 2024. A scientific group will review the abstracts and respond within 12 June. It is possible to submit earlier, in case you need an earlier decision of acceptance for your institution. You are also welcome to have meetings in established research groups at the conference. Feel free to us contact if more information is needed.
The final keynote will be chosen from the submitted abstracts by the scientific committee and the organizers.